Planning for Your Child’s Comfort

What you can expect

Some pain or discomfort after a procedure or surgery is normal. For some parents, knowing what to expect can make things easier for you and your child. We are committed to taking care of your child’s pain and working with you to make your child as comfortable as possible. The amount of pain your child may have depends on their condition and procedure. It may not be possible to get rid of all of the pain, but we will create a plan to control the pain and keep the pain level as low as possible.

Planning for your child’s comfort before the procedure or surgery

At your child’s clinic appointment, your care provider will discuss the details of your child’s procedure or surgery. They will help you know more about what to expect regarding pain and options for relieving pain after the procedure or surgery. The provider will discuss your child’s need for pain medication and other non-medication options that help relieve pain.

This appointment is a good time for you to partner with the provider about the plan for your child’s pain control. You know your child best and can share what you know works to keep your child comfortable.

Your phone appointment with the Pediatric Anesthesia Resource Center (PARC) will prepare you and your child for the day of surgery. Parents can take this opportunity to ask any questions and discuss your child’s comfort plan.

Questions to ask your surgical and anesthesia provider:

  • How much pain is expected?
  • How long will the pain last?
  • What are the options for pain relief after the procedure or surgery?
  • What can I do to help my child prepare for his or her recovery from this procedure?
  • Can I make a Child Life referral to assist with my child’s anxiety and concerns?

Learn more or print our helpful guidelines for your next procedure or surgery.

Child and Family Life Services

Your child may feel nervous about the upcoming surgery or procedure. This is completely normal. To help with this, we have Child Life specialists available to work with your child before their procedure, on the procedure date, and after the procedure.

Child Life specialists are trained professionals who provide pediatric patients developmentally appropriate preparation and support for surgeries and procedures. Specialists also work with children and families to develop coping plans to reduce anxiety and provide opportunities for play and self expression.

If you feel like your child would benefit from Child Life Services, call (650) 497-8336.

Pediatric Pain Management team

The pediatric pain specialists are providers who specialize in pain management for children. Your child’s surgical team may ask the pain management team to help with the plan for managing your child’s pain after surgery. This team provides pain control and symptom management in a variety ways.

In addition to surgical patients, they provide expert consultation for hospitalized patients who are experiencing pain for other reasons including:

  • Pain due to an injury 
  • Pain caused by an illness (cancer, sickle cell anemia, etc.)
  • Pain from a treatment for an illness (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.)
  • Nausea or other unpleasant symptoms or side effects that persist (itching, etc.)